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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Picking Up The Pieces In Sandy-Devastated Towns

photo
A row of trailers in Holgate, N.J. damaged by Superstorm Sandy. (Chris Ballman/Here & Now)The inside of a storm-ravaged trailer in Holgate, N.J. (Chris Ballman/H&N)Storm-damaged trailers in Holgate, N.J. (Chris Ballman/Here & Now)Peggy Smith carries some items salvaged from her trailer in Holgate, N.J. destroyed by Superstorm Sandy. (Chris Ballman/Here & Now)Don and Peggy Smith salvage items from their destroyed trailer in Holgate, N.J. (Chris Ballman/Here & Now)Residents and volunteers stand near storm-damaged trailers in Holgate, N.J. (Chris Ballman/Here & Now)Damaged trailers in Holgate, N.J. (Chris Ballman/Here & Now)Trailers damaged by Superstorm Sandy in Holgate, N.J. (Chris Ballman/Here & Now)Volunteers help clean out a home in Holgate, N.J. (Chris Ballman/Here & Now)Holgate, N.J. resident Dwight Hutchinson (left) and volunteers from Saint Anselm College assess the damage caused by Sandy. (Chris Ballman/Here & Now)Superstorm Sandy displaced massive quantities of sand in Holgate, N.J. (Chris Ballman, Here & Now)A group of volunteers from Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire pause for a photo outside a damaged home in Holgate, N.J. (Chris Ballman/Here & Now)The contents of a storm-damaged house in Holgate, N.J. are piled up outside for trash collection. (Chris Ballman/Here & Now)The breakaway walls and stairs leading up to beachfront homes in Holgate, N.J. were destroyed by the storm. (Chris Ballman/Here & Now)A house in Holgate, N.J. destroyed by Sandy. (Chris Ballman/Here & Now)Trash is piled outside of storm damaged homes on Long Beach Island. (Chris Ballman/Here & Now)

A group of volunteers from Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire pause for a photo outside a damaged home in Holgate, N.J. (Chris Ballman/Here & Now)

In the coming weeks, hundreds of New York City homes deemed safety hazards after Superstorm Sandy will be razed in an operation Mayor Michael Bloomberg described as “unprecedented.”

Some 200 homes in Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island will fall to the bulldozers.

That’s in addition to the 200 or so homes already demolished after being damaged by wind, water or by storm-sparked fire.

And building inspectors must still issue a ruling on another 500 damaged structures, some of which could also meet the same fate.

New York is still picking up after last month’s mammoth confluence of a hurricane and a nor’easter, which landed a direct blow on the city and New Jersey.

Holgate, N.J. resident Dwight Hutchinson (left) and volunteers from Saint Anselm College assess the damage caused by Sandy. (Chris Ballman/Here & Now)

One of the most devastated towns on the Jersey Shore is Holgate, a mix of two and three story homes and trailer parks on the southern tip of Long Beach Island, just north of Atlantic City.

Three weeks after Sandy, homes and businesses still don’t have electricity, or gas for heat and hot water.

This past weekend, residents were allowed through police barricades to survey the damage and salvage what they could.

Here & Now’s Chris Ballman was on the Jersey Shore helping his dad tear down walls and remove waterlogged insulation from the family home on Barnegat Bay.

He took a break to spend some time in Holgate, N.J. Click on the SoundCloud at the top of the page to hear his audio postcard.


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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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